Adam Zivo: CBC keeps coming to Trudeau's defence over interference scandal

adam zivo: cbc keeps coming to trudeau's defence over interference scandal

The CBC’s headquarters in Toronto.

The CBC’s coverage of the China interference scandal has often been questionable and partisan. Though its unsurprising that the organization has chosen to act, yet again, as the Liberals’ state-funded PR wing, its recent decision to platform an apologist for Beijing’s genocide against the Uyghurs is a new low.

During the initial phase of the scandal, in mid to late February, the CBC provided relatively little coverage of China’s election meddling. Articles from that time disproportionately focussed on Trudeau’s rebuttals to his critics, including claims that the intelligence leaks detailing Beijing’s interference campaigns were allegedly “inaccurate.”

At the same time, the CBC seemed to frame the scandal as just a Conservative hit job. This narrative was, at first, integral to the Liberals’ attempts to discredit the story: ”We did nothing wrong. The Conservatives are just blowing things out of proportion to manipulate you.”

Consider, for example, how the CBC reported on concerns about Trudeau’s failure to publicly disclose Beijing’s meddling. Political leaders and commentators of all backgrounds found Trudeau’s secrecy concerning, but the CBC largely ignored this, downplayed non-Conservative critics and focussed on Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre.

The headline in the end? “Poilievre accuses Trudeau of ignoring election interference by China.”  Through this kind of subtle, but effective, spin, the CBC implied that the scandal was being driven by one man with a political agenda, rather than a chorus of voices from across the political spectrum.

In early March, Poilievre repeatedly questioned Trudeau about whether he had been warned that China was funnelling money to Canadian political candidates, but Trudeau refused to answer. The CBC initially reported on this exchange using an accurate and neutral headline — “Trudeau again deflects questions on foreign election interference.”

However, the headline was later adjusted to something that could, once again, give the impression of a partisan witch hunt – “As Poilievre presses on election interference, Trudeau calls suggestion he isn’t loyal to Canada ‘despicable.”

As further intelligence leaks pounded the Liberals, they found a new strategy: claim that your opponents are racist .

This didn’t go over well. In both progressive and conservative media, Chinese-Canadians spoke up about how criticising the Beijing government is not racist and, on the contrary, stopping foreign interference is integral to keeping Chinese-Canadians safe.

It was also pointed out that Beijing often abuses specious allegations of racism to discredit critics, meaning that the Liberals were inadvertently amplifying Beijing’s talking points.

While the CBC acknowledged these realities to some extent, the organization has, on the whole, embraced the “this scandal is racist” angle.

To this effect, the CBC recently spotlighted a letter signed by “a group of academics” (in reality: nine people) which argues that Canada’s attempts to investigate China’s meddling are racist and counterproductive.

The CBC has since cited this letter in at least two other videos that push the racism angle — including one exchange where a reporter used the letter to rebut a security expert who said that Beijing was using false allegations of racism to prevent an interference investigation.

No other major publication has touched this story and it’s not hard to understand why — the letter was spearheaded by professor John Price of the University of Victoria, who is notorious for dismissing concerns about China’s crimes, including genocide against the Uyghurs.

Price is one of those stereotypical far left academics who fetishizes anti-western regimes no matter how abhorrent they may be. Among many other questionable claims, he has accused the “anglosphere” of being “united in an anti-China front”  and says that Canada is joining “U.S.-led war preparations” to “provoke China.”

Price, who is caucasian, even previously alleged that the CBC is abetting racism by featuring Chinese-Canadian voices that are insufficiently pro-Beijing.

While there’s no shortage of these kinds of useful idiots, Price has distinguished himself by going further than most and defending denialism of the Uyghur genocide.

In 2021, retired judge Bill Yee, who at the time was an advisor to B.C. premier David Eby, claimed that the Ugyhur genocide is a “lie” fabricated by the west to attack China. Yee’s comments outraged Chinese-Canadian community leaders, who wrote an open letter condemning him and pointing out that Yee had previously denied mass murder at the Tiananmen Square massacre.

In response, Price co-wrote a 2021 opinion article in The Georgia Straight (a Vancouver-based publication) defending Yee. He argued that Yee was being “demonized” and compared Yee’s genocide denialism to the anti-colonial struggles of Indigenous Canadians, in the sense that both “spurned allegiance to Canada.”

In the article Price had the decency to recognize that something was amiss with the Uyghur situation, but said it was “inappropriate” that Canada’s Parliament branded it a genocide. According to the professor, efforts to recognize the Uyghur genocide are merely a “well-organized and successful” campaign to “demonize the Chinese government” for the sake of “reviving” the “imperial West.”

Yikes. Can someone please explain why the CBC chose to platform this man and treat his views on anti-Asian racism, which happen to mirror Beijing’s talking points, so seriously? It would be breathtaking if the CBC wasn’t aware of his background, which isn’t hard to find online.

Most media outlets have a point of view — that’s normal. But public broadcasters are an exception and should strive for neutrality, rather than partisan cheerleading. If the CBC is so eager to defend Trudeau that they’ll platform a Beijing apologist like Price, then the organization must, for the sake of democratic fairness, have its funding cut.

National Post

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